London skyline has world's first gigapixel photoshoot
Posted May 10, 2018 7:20 a.m. EDT
(CNN) — London's skyline is one of the world's most famous -- from this sleek modern glamor of the Shard to St Paul's Cathedral's classic dome. Now this striking cityscape is the subject of the world's first gigapixel photoshoot.
The result is a stunning look at how the capital and popular destination changes over 24 hours, from moody clouds and sunset to the bright lights of the big city.
This incredible panoramic timelapse was the product of a collaboration between Visualise, the London-based VR and 360-degree production studio, and Lenstore, the contact lens company.
Using robotic motion technology to maneuver their Nikon D850 camera, the two-person team snapped 260 photos per hour, for 24 hours. Each highly detailed image is comprised of 7 billion pixels.
"There was a team of two of us, taking shifts through the day/night," says Henry Stuart of Visualise, in a statement. "It was incredibly cold and windy, each hour we made the trip to the corner of the roof, checked the light, adjusted our settings and set off the camera remotely."
The Nikon D850 was chosen because of its raw capabilities, explains Stuart: "It has this beautiful big sensor and captures a huge range of light and dark."
The duo were based in London's Canary Wharf, the financial heart of the city, where highrise buildings offer incredible views of the bustling city below. They decamped on the roof of One Canada Square.
The finished panoramas are so large, explains Stuart, that only purpose-built computers can process them.
These photos were stitched together with absolute accuracy, to ensure the perfect timelapse experience.
"The motion technology is normally just used for movie production," explains Stuart. "However, we needed a head that was heavy enough to mitigate the wind shaking the camera, and accurate enough to allow us to stitch the images together in exactly the same way for all 24 images."
The hard work paid off: The result is an incredibly look at one of the world's most iconic cityscapes.